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Jay-Z Rejected Alicia Keys’ First Recording Of “Empire State Of Mind”

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Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Carson Carson Daly
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“Empire State of Mind” is one of those songs that instantly became an anthem.

Alicia Keys’ incredible voice combined with Jay-Z’s verses meshed together perfectly and even though the tune is all about NYC, it resonated worldwide.

But it didn’t all come together as effortlessly as it sounds.

During Monday’s episode of VH1’s Storytellers, Keys revealed that Hova wasn’t so pleased with her first attempt at the hook. She recounted the moment when Jay called her up.

“It’s good, it’s good,” he told her. “But I don’t know, I just thought you could hit it one more time!”

Alicia was taken aback by his critique, but determined to impress him.

“So I go in and I hit it and I hit it hard,” she explained to the crowd. “I come back with some, ‘Uh! Uh! Uh!’ A little New York thing, put my little swag on it, get it in really good. Send it back like, ‘Send!’ Bet you have nothing to say now!”

Needless to say, Jay-Z was more than satisfied and the rest is history.

Watch Alicia Keys’ full episode of VH1 Storytellers here.


-Sarah Carroll, 97.1 AMP Radio/Los Angeles

For constant updates on what’s happening at 97.1 AMP Radio, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @ampradio.

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